tv The Dylan Ratigan Show MSNBC January 27, 2010 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
if there is anyone out there who still doubts that america is a place where all things are possible, tonight is your answer. change has come to america. >> you lie! >> in america today people are angry. one in five of us out of work, one in four in houses worth less than the mortgage that lays on top of them, health care reform derailed before our very eyes by
special interests and back room deals and wall street continuing to be allowed to gamble with our money in secret. the outrage understandable in america. and that outrage partially aimed at president obama and the political games he has yet to be able to break up in this country and, in fact, has himself become a part of. take a look. nbc news "wall street journal" poll shows 70% think washington isn't doing enough to regulate wall street. no surprise. they have done nothing since the collapse to claw back money, tax future profits let alone close the loopholes that got us into the mess. meanwhile, an overwhelming 84% think lobbyist have too much influence on capitol hill and in the white house. think of the back room deal obama made with pharma. americans are saying loud and clear the government does not work for us anymore.
but do not forget this is america. where anything is, indeed, possible. a country that once had slaves, where women couldn't vote and children worked 16--hour-days. all of that was changed by the people of this country and we can change the way our government is run today by simply invoking our freedoms. our freedom to vote. our freedom to speak. and our freedom to put our money wherever we so choose. barack obama didn't fill mile high stadium nor did he fill grant park on election night or the national mall on inauguration day. americans did. those voters elected barack obama on the promise of change. tonight the president has the opportunity to turn that anger into action, to change his rhetoric into reality and unveil real solutions instead of the hollow reform we have born witness to over the past year.
but if only -- but only if it is done with complete transparency at this point will he be able to earn the credibility he once had with the american people. if he doesn't change the culture. if washington doesn't change itself and come into the 21st century where everyone can see what is going on, i can assure you the voters will make those changes. i want to bring in ed schultz, host of "the ed show." michael waldman chief speechwriter for former president clinton. 70% of americans say the federal government isn't working period. is the president on the same page as middle america? is his difficulty evidence of a betrayal of a political candidate or more evidence of how broken washington, d.c. is and his inability to deal with it? >> dylan, appreciate the time. i think you make a great case.
the pressure button has been located by the white house. this has to be viewed as a new beginning. if my radio show is any judge of what the people are expecting tonight i think the ratings are through the roof. they want to see some game. they want to see some change. the way the president spoke to the haitian people a little over a week ago and said you will not be forsaken he had to say that tonight to the american middle class. the last year has been a tough one on the wage earners in this country. getting a health care bill would be a good start. it is a big night for the president and the country. they want to see some game. >> michael, what strikes me about this particular state of the union and this particular president, he is such a compelling speaker. his rhetoric is transsenn dent
of any speaker we have seen. can he deliver the speech? i think we all know he can deliver the speech. the question is will he be able to show us the beef. in other words if you were working with this man and his speaking, what would you frame for him so that he not only wins us rhetorically but actually charts a path, a credible path for actual change? >> what matters tonight for him is not the music. we know he can perform the music, but the words. he has not yet done a good enough job of explaining what got us into this mess and how his vision of an expanded and activist government is the way to get the country out of the mess. last year when he was doing the stimulus he didn't make a case for keyesian economics. he is facing an angry electorate. he is not going to join the tea baggers.
he has to reframe a populism with a smile to change what he called last week broken washington. i would like to hear specifically not just kind of decrying lobbyists and their role. we know the system is dysfunctional and broken. we see it in the congress. last week the supreme court overturned 1 loon years of doctrine as you know and said corporations could spend unlimited sums in elections. what specifically would he want people to do to change politics, to change washington and embed that in how that leads to a better economy. >> embed some of how he would change washington process not just the rhetoric of change that is inherently appealing. if i talk about puppies and sunshine you feel better but if i don't have a plan for puppies and sunshine it doesn't matter. ed, if you look at that as the manda mandate, look at this man as the evidence of the failure in washington, d.c., this man with
this level of rhetoric can stumble over back room deals, lack of transparency, what he said he would not do, the health care, the war, the banks get a free pass, how does he prove he is bigger than the machine and if he is helped by the american people he, with the support of the people that filled those stadiums can update our entire political system and bring it into the light of day and the 21st century? >> well, i think, dylan, this is a dose of reality for the president tonight. it is a wakeup call for core democrats. are they going to run with this guy or stick with him? a lot of populist democrats are wondering exactly what they are going to do. they need to hear it tonight. the president i also think in explaining about how we got here and i don't think that, you know, last administration bashing. the american people know the story. what we want to know is the american middle class, what is
your road map? are you going to call the republicans out? more filibusters than ever before, more obstruction than ever before. you haven't got them to work with you on anything. is it time to throw the gop to the side and move forward with the progressive agenda the very people that put you in office. i think the president is at a political crossroads right now. he is going to have to decide. the more he goes to the center the more he is going to alienate his base the more concessions on health care, the more he is going to alienate his base. he has to stand up and be true to the people who elected him saying i am for the little guy. i have done it for wall street. enough is enough. we are going to get health care done, tax cuts for the middle class and get this economy going. and lay it out. and republicans if you don't want to do it with me or work with the democrats see us at the polls and let the american people decide. we tried to do this. >> i couldn't agree more across
the board. i do think this voter is more aware of both parties and the issues than perhaps anybody in this country gives them credit for. ed, thank you so much for your analysis. catch "the ed show" 6:00 eastern, steny hoyer, clyburn and katrina vanden heuvel. now joining me is mike pence. >> hey, dylan. >> how are you? >> let's talk about indiana and how you look at your constituency, a fiscal conservative and understanding the need for a safety net to deal with the provision of health care and education to the people in this country one way or the other. what do you feel your constituents need to see
tonight? >> well, i think we need to see the president of the united states step up to the podium in the well of the people's house and prove that he's listening to the american people. i mean, the american people quite frankly are tired of the borrowing, the spending, the bailouts, the takeovers. they want the president, i believe, to step up tonight and say we are going to set aside these big government schemes in health care, work in a bipartisan way on some incremental measures that will lower costs, set aside plans to raise your taxes in the worst recession in 25 years and focus on putting our fiscal house in order and focus on the kind of measures that have always and will always create jobs. i really think the american people want to see the president take a very different approach tonight and prove he is listening to the american people. >> white house press secretary making the rounds, as always. robert gibbs was on "morning
joe" and acknowledged the president's frustrations during his first year. take a listen to this. >> he will talk about that and he will talk about how he wishes washington had changed more quickly and his frustration around the fact that it hasn't. >> everybody is watching. again, forget any finger pointing. we saw the data last year, it was a record year for lobbying in this country last year. we watched -- because of the transparency with the internet everybody gets to see everything. you cut a deal with the union or the drug company everybody sees it. the deal whatever it may be everybody sees it. lobbyist spent $2.5 billion last year. >> yeah. it is very frustrating for people. it is frustrating from the standpoint of house republicans, dylan. until recently the administration and democrats in congress talk about special interest stop the health care bill. the president talked about running into a buzzsaw in
massachusetts. the buzzsaw he ran into is the american people don't want a government takeover of health care paid for with hundreds of billions of mandates and higher taxes. the special interests were in the room. >> let's do health care another day. does the president have room for improvement? obviously, the people in the white house have room for improvement? i agree absolutely. they can do it better. at the same time is there an incredible amount of criticism to be offered up by the american people of their legislator. period. forget who the president is. is there question in the minds of american, left, right, center, up, down, senator, congressman is working to solve fundamental structural problems. helicopter 42, filibuster in the 50s. these systems go back 50 or 60
years and so much has changed and yet the government hasn't. >> dylan, i want to tell you when i was with the president back middle december in the cabinet room and it came to me and i talked to him about mon muncie, indiana. families are cutting back on their family budgets, getting a job on the evenings and weekends. they see washington, d.c. increasing domestic spending 12%, raising taxes on energy. i looked at the president and said mr. president, in muncie, indiana, people feel like washington doesn't get it. i believe that. tonight the great challenge for the president -- i pray for this president and his family regularly. i want to see this president redirect the course of the government of his party in washington. >> forget his party. we need it from you. we need it from him. we need it from everybody. let's forget red sox/yankees.
let's go. >> let me be clear, we have invited the president to address our house republican retreat. we invited him. he is coming. we are going to have a free wheeling exchange of ideas. we'll hear the president out when we meet in baltimore. we are going to present to him all of the better solutions that republicans offered unilaterally rejected that is the one thing ed -- the ed show is popular. it is not my cup of tea, he is good radio and good tv. ed said the president should consider shutting republicans out. news flash. house democrats in this administration have shut republicans out of the entire process in the house and in the senate for the last year. the american people want us, what the president used to say on the campaign trail is let's bring everybody in the room, pull the best ideas, republican or democrat ideas, focus on putting our fiscal house in order and creating jobs. as evidenced by inviting the
president to our conference retreat, dylan, we are ready to do that. >> that is fantastic. i look forward to talking with you about it. congressman pence thank you so much for the time. do stay tuned for kpom pleat coverage of the president's first state of the union address. "hardball" and "countdown" live leading up to the speech. the speech at account eastern time. the response superior to last year's response. do stay tuned for live editions of "countdown," "the rachel maddow show" immediately following the speech. coming up on "the dylan ratigan show" -- the grilling of tim geithner. we will break down all the action and what action there was on today's pivotal hearing on the aig bailout. will the treasury secretary,
should the treasury secretary as the custodian of your money keep his job? >> you gave lame excuses then. why shouldn't we ask for your resignation as secretary of the treasury? >> and the latest on the arrest ochd conservative filmmaker who pozed as a pimp to target a.c.o.r.n. guess what? the father of the young man recently busted for dressing as a telephone man trying to get into mary landrieu's office. education secretary arne duncan talking about schools, the president and the state of the union. we are back here right after this. tdd# 1-800-345-2550
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orchestrating a wiretapping scheme to bug mary landrieu's office. famous for the so-called louisiana purchase. o'keefe and the three other men pictured here were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses. the intention was to commit a felony. the false pretense being dressed as telephone repairman. one is hailed as a hero by conservatives. the filmmaker and self-described journalist was the subject of a resolution sponsored by 31 republicans to honor o'keefe for exposing a.c.o.r.n. now backpedalling from the gop as it tries to distance itself from the crusader turned political leper. he says i am a journalist. the truth shall set me free. that may well be the case.
james o'keefe sr., the father of the man accused of orchestrating the landrieu wiretap. i'm grateful for you to talk to us about this. what is your understanding of what your son was doing? >> good afternoon, dylan. >> hi. >> the reality is i don't know. james does a lot of his work on his own and we don't know. what i can tell you is i'm extraordinarily proud of my son. he is an honest, sincere person. in the majority of his efforts have been toward trying to bring out truth in unusual debatable fashion but he does have a lot of integrity. >> when you read or see or hear however you consume the information that your son has been arrested for illegally entering federal property with the intent to commit a felony, the first thought that crosses your mind is what?
>> well, first of all, i know him and i know that whatever he did would not -- he would not do anything to injure anybody or hurt anybody intentionally. he may stretch the limits as a prank, if you will, if that is the right word. wiretapping, no, that is a joke. when the facts come out that will not be the case. i have a great deal of respect for the authorities. i think we need to see what the facts are. >> of course. have you talked to him recently? >> very, very briefly. it's been hectic for him. we don't know the details and frankly i don't know what he was doing down there. i would say to you that my son has a wonderful record of publications and some of it is, depending on what stance you are, you can like him or not like him, but the fact is he is
his own man and he is an honest man. i think if we look at this from a rational point of view he is probably down there for the louisiana land purchase. i'm speculating, i don't know. on a matter like this you can't say too much. what troubles a lot of americans is two senators that practice bribery and possibly extortion that is unacceptable to the american people. >> there is no question. i think there is -- as we talked about it at the top of the show. we know our government ten ways has -- is ineffective shall we say relative to the con sense expectation of basic transparency, fairness, decency and fair play. mr. o'keefe, thank you for the time and hope to talk to you soon if the opportunity presents itself. james o'keefe sr. the father of one of the four individuals recently arrested for efforts to
get into senator mary landrieu's offices in louisiana. we are joined by bertha lewis, a.c.o.r.n.'s chief executive officer and organizer. bertha, you claimed from the very beginning that this was a setup effectively going back to the pimp and ho set up, if you will and ultimately they knocked on enough doors and found somebody that got far enough in with them to make a scandal out of it. is that a fair description of the past? >> first of all we have been saying for quite sometime there o'keefe and his cohorts, you know, are dishonest. they do have bad intentions and what they perpetrated on us, people rushed to judgment, didn't look at the facts and we were trying to say, yes, he never came in as a pimp and some of our folks spoke to him but unlike mr. o'keefe, we committed no crime. he committed crimes in three
states at least. we think the authorities should prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and, you know, all due respect to mr. o'keefe who says we should wait to get the facts. well no one waited to get the facts on us. but the thing is this. we believe in accountability. we have been working really, really hard to make sure that all of our internal controls are there and not one, not one piece of paper was ever filed for these folks. we just hope that this incident perpetrated against a u.s. senator finally has people to look at this in a fair way and really investigate mr. o'keefe and prosecute him for the crimes that he has committed. >> yeah. up with last question for you to wrap this up. mr. o'keefe i think made an interesting comment, by no means does it suggest it justifies any of some of the behaviors we're talking about, but it ties back in my head to the conversation
we had with congressman pence and ed shulsz at the top of the show, about the lack of transparency and the process or the lack of transparency in our government or the perception thereof when you get the legislative back and forth. because of the internet we see everything which wasn't the case five or ten years ago. >> that is very true. there was a huge rush to judgment by congress. they committed an unconstitutional act defunding a.c.o.r.n. >> what i'm saying it is bigger than that. >> it is bigger. >> it is bigger than that. >> it is. >> we all collectively have to get out of the finger pointing game. >> yes. >> it is the president's fault, it is the congress fault, it is my fault, your fault. we can go down the road. we have to update these systems and have trust in each other to do it. it is only through transparent operations, news gathering or
governing we will be able to move anywhere. >> you are absolutely right. there is transparency and accountability. you can disagree but you need to disagree on the facts and not disagree on fantasy. >> bertha, thanks for the time. bertha lewis runs a.c.o.r.n. speaking of lack transparency, ducking the blame on aig. the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world from the middle class to the financial elite. tim geithner our treasury secretary, custodian of the current and future wealth of every american side steps his responsibilities once again as lawmake lawmakers pummelled him of the giveaway with no strings. will today's hearing lead to change? an evident to save and improve our educational system,
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♪ [ female announcer ] get the taste of a home-cooked meal at work with new marie callender's homestyle creations. marie callender's homestyle creations -- a little touch of home for lunch. welcome back to "the dylan ratigan show". the president will announce plans to boost federal spending on education by $4 billion in the 2011 budget, 6%. will it solve any of the gross disparities we see in our education system. high school graduation rates hovering 50% in parts of the southern united states. that is america but well above 80% in other parts of our country. that kind of disparity is not good for the long-term future of
any country. joining us now education secretary arne duncan. how do you solve that? >> good afternoon, dylan. we have to raise the bar for all students. expectations are far too low. we have to collage the status quo and make sure high school graduates are prepared for college-level work. we have an opportunity thanks to the president's leadership and unprecedented resources coming in to go forward. >> two things that strike me about the status quo, teachers union and tenure which effectively lets bad teachers to stay teaching and makes it more difficult to get good teachers in. nothing is more determinative than the quality of the teacher. what can you do to get more good teachers and identify and get rid of bad teachers? >> talent matters. great teachers and principles make a big difference. we are going to have
unprecedented resources to reward excellence, to find teachers, principals, schools, school districts raising the bar for all children and closing the achievement gap and reward excellence. with this budget we can shine a spot light, replicate, reward and learn from the teachers and principals making a huge difference. >> as a man who loved his summers and regret not having them since i graduated from college. is there consideration from moving away from the agrarian school calendar. >> this is never my most popular talk when i talk in schools. i've argued very clearly that our school day is too short, our school week is too short. our school year is too short.
we are being outcompeted by children in china and india. they are not smarter but working harder. i don't need to see anymore studies. certain children get to a certain part in june and because nothing is going on in the summer they come back in september further behind than where they left. this is heartbreaking. we have to stop that. longer days, longer weeks, longer years, more enrichment is part of the solution. >> mr. secretary, everything and anything we can do to help you, you have our support. thank you for sharing your time with us. lawmakers ripping into tim geithner. our secretary of the treasury over the aig back door bailout. is it nothing more than political grandstanding or are we on a road to real change and real reform to a corrupt banking system in this country? ♪ ( kids giggling )
welcome back. today treasury secretary tim geithner testified in the biggest hearing so far on this controversial aig bailout. at times geithner's grilling from a fed-up congress looked straight out of a courtroom drama. >> you had every opportunity, every opportunity to weigh in on behalf of the american people and make these people take a new deal, make them take a hair cut. >> this question of disclosure was the subject of huge amount of controversy and most people -- >> you think? >> it stretches credulity that you didn't know anything about it. you were the head of the fed and didn't know. that doesn't make sense. >> frustrated lawmakers trying to unraffle the mystery of the back door bailout using an
e-mail trail of clues. >> where are you on the aig counterparty disclosure issue? long after you left you made this e-mail. what was it about and what was the answer? >> it was a day spent trying to determine two things. one, why the new york federal reserve overpaid banks like goldman sachs, society general and ubs to unwind risky contracts they shouldn't have been in. >> the federal reserve paying a hundred cents on the dollar for a series of securities at the time were worth less than half of that amount. we demonstrated in the audit that was, in fact, a choice. >> hmm. and two, who made the decision to hide the details of the deal just described to us? it was described this way by brian bilbray of california. >> what the average citizen heard disclosure issue they hear
coverup. now -- >> to that the theme of the day, it wasn't me. >> i had no role in making those decisions. i was not involved in decisions about what to disclose about the individual transactions. >> i had no involvement at all in the payment to the counterparties. no involvement whatsoever. >> heck, even the fed chairman ben bernanke joined the "not me" corus in a written statement responding to allegations he overrode staff recommendations not to mark up aig and pay them in full. he said "i was not involved in discussions with aig regarding counterparties or the disclosure matters." with that said, everyone was willing to claim responsibility for saving all of us from certain doom. >> we acted because the consequences of aig failing
would have been catastrophic. to get the best deal for the american taxpayer. >> really? all this was done to benefit the american taxpayer? apparently you couldn't save us without wall street getting a record $145 billion in bonuses alone, consolidating a financial monopoly and ignoring the hundreds of billions paid in the ten years prior building the ponzi scheme paid out by the government in the end through aig. but we'll take him at his word. if tim geithner really works for the taxpayer i'm sure he will be willing to recoupe ill gotten gains past and future, right? >> do you think in view of the fact much of their profit was made in taxpayers -- >> you better work quickly mr. secretary. it sounds like you may be
running out of time. >> why shouldn't we ask for your resignation for secretary of the treasury? >> it is a great privilege for me to work with this president to help repair the damage that was here when we took office. >> you're punting the blame and i think you are trying to position yourself -- >> congressman, you don't know me very well. >> yet i believe we are not getting the whole story. we are getting a lame story. >> intense proceedings to say the least. great theater, but will anything come of it? joining us now the ranking republican on the house oversight and government reform committee congressman darrell is issa. we welcome you back to the program. did we figure out who did it? who made the call to give away all that money, boss? >> dylan, we may find out we have the money sitting in the fed. it doesn't look like anyone gave
it. it is clear everyone wants to take credit for stopping an apocalyptic event while no one wants to take blame for paying too much. these were payments that didn't have to happen. they could have put a guarantee in and not pay a penny out. what we got today was members on the republican and democratic side, i'm very proud of both sides asking tough questions and gets promises to have our questions in writing answered something that hasn't happened before. today was abl people talking about wall street as though it was going to help main street. >> where do you go from here? >> we go back to reminding these people in our questions we are concerned about the fact that main street hasn't gotten a bailout. wall street, in fact, was taken care of. they were taken care of globally. not just u.s. wall street. banks in france and other countries around the world were made whole well beyond what was reasonable. we released a document that is
going to tell people the detail of what is being covered up. i'm proud we did that as a committee. >> you and i both know and most american voters know when it comes to assuming risk as a business, the corner store where i like to get my hotdogs or the biggest business in america the ceo decides how much risk that business can take. how many hotdogs am i going to have in inventory, how many loans am i willing to carry against my balance sheet. >> absolutely. >> why is there such hesitancy to hold the ceos of the banks more accountable? i know they are getting interrogated but not getting accountability as far as i can tell. >> dylan, there is no hesitancy on the committee on either side of the aisle to hold the banks accountable. when career people said to bail out aig and eliminate the moral hazard question that existed at
the banks meaning have them not have to pay for their mistakes when, in fact, they invested in an organization or got insurance from an organization they didn't have real assets behind. the fact is geithner had no answer for that. he went back to we had to do it because otherwise they would have collapsed. we intend to get the documents that showed that the fed itself felt that letting aig go would have been better but, in fact, chairman bernanke overruled that. that is not what he answered today but what he is going to have to answer is why did he overrule even having the members of the fed see that recommendation and give him advice and whether he should take it. >> do you think geithner should remain on the job? >> i think if you took a poll there is not one democrat or republican on the dais would have confirmed him today.
i suspect on the senate side it would be the same thing. if there was a vote of confidence would the house or senate keep him? no. does the president keep him at his peril? yes. he is distancing himself from the person who appears not to have the answers. that is a decision for the president to make. it is very clear his own party doesn't want him to stay. you saw that from democrats today including marcy kaptur who is going to be on next and others. they had questions he couldn't answer because he was awol and recused himself. we thought he was working when he wasn't. >> representative issa, we thank you for getting answers to questions that are hard to get answers to. some of the tough questions today centered specifically around goldman sachs. which is the largest so-called investment bank in the u.s. recently reformed as a commercial bank. they get all sorts of benefit
including an estimated $14 billion in free money from the taxpayer through aig. take a listen to marcy kaptur asking geithner about the company this treasury secretary likes to keep. >> your chief of staff is the gatekeeper for access to you. could you please provide his name. >> his name is mark patterson. >> thank you. and for whom did he work before you selected him as your chief of staff? >> he worked for the president's transition team. >> no. before that. which wall street team. >> this is a matter of public record and you know the answer to this question. he worked for goldman sachs. >> the reason you get so many goldman sachs questions is because goldman sachs quite honestly is good at what they do and at the same time works in a lot of nontransparent ways and has received immense financial benefit from all this. all of which leads to the type of questions you saw there. joining us now representative
kaptur. you bring up goldman sachs. lots of questions about dealings with aig. there is a belief that goldman sachs knew in 2007 that aig financial products the insurance company was busted at that point in time. do you think the government should subpoena all e-mails between aig and goldman sachs going back a few years? >> i think that's a very good idea. in fact, if you look at the people who testified today, who sat in the white house during the bush administration, joshua bolton was the london office manager for goldman sachs. if you look at who is the chief of staff for timothy geithner today it is someone from goldman sachs. the man handling the t.a.r.p. is from goldman sachs. they had the gal to suggest the 225 e-mails or telephone calls that occurred between mr. geithner and mr. paulson between
sent 14, 2008 and thanksgiving, they didn't discuss aig at all. doesn't that sound implausible? >> it does, indeed. it sounds like a reason to ask a few more questions and dig deeper especially when you add to it when it was all said and done lehman brothers had been vanquished and goldman had a monopoly on all fixed income trading in the world and the most profitable investment bank in the history of the world and now not subject to any further regulation than they were prior to the crisis. it is good to be goldman sachs. >> yes. >> do you believe congress should enact clawbacks? >> representative welch's bill is presidenty conservative to mine. i have 100% clawback. his is 50%. if you look at the manner in which these individuals and their companies and private equity funds and hedge funds are taxed, it isn't what the
ordinary small business in my district pays, 35%. there are clauses and exemptions. how can they take these bonuses when you have unemployment in places like i represent which is 17% unemployment. >> we get it. america completely understands the money was taken. they are confused why the congress is not acting to get it back. >> the american people are right. we should be acting. we in the house passed one measure that didn't encompass all the firms. my bill takes 100% back. don't you think they owe it to the republic? >> i think if you make money perpetrating insurance fraud you need to give back the money and being prosecuted. >> goldman sachs was the number one recipient of funds under the aig -- >> insurance scheme. >> under the insurance scheme.
society national was number one. goldman sachs was the largest domestic firm. they weren't always a normal bank. >> representative kaptur, a pleasure. keep ate them. we need it in order to bring back investor innovative capitalism in this country. we'll be right back. in a blind taste test, more people preferred prego over bertolli. the sweet and savory taste of prego. it's in there.
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